Chattanooga Bar Association 

Young Lawyer's Division 

The purposes of Young Lawyers Division shall be to promote a better understanding of the law and the legal profession to the general public; to sponsor community, educational and professional programs for the general public and the legal profession; and to encourage fellowship among the young lawyers of Hamilton County, Tennessee. All licensed attorneys of Hamilton County, Tennessee, who are members of the Chattanooga Bar Association and who are under 36 years of age, or within the first five years of their practice of law, shall be eligible for membership in this organization.  

The YLD hosts social events after hours for networking purposes, including socials to welcome summer interns from various firms, and events to highlight local venues, events, such as Lookouts. The Fall social benefits CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates – held in November.  CASA for Children is a network of 951 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.  

In February of every year, the YLD hosts the High School Mock Trial Competition.  Mock Trial Competition involves students to take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and present their case against teams from other schools. It has been running annually since 1991 with regional tournaments and the national finals.

If you would like to be part of the YLD, contact the CBA Office at 602-9430. 
You can follow the YLD on Facebook @ Chattanooga Bar Association YLD; 
Twitter @ChattBarYLD; or 
Instagram@ chattbaryld.

Join the YLD!

2022 YLD Executive COUNCIL

2023 Young Lawyer's Division President Logan Threadgill
of Chambliss Law Firm

Attorney Logan Threadgill is a commercial litigation attorney at Chambliss Law Firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He handles construction cases, contract and payment disputes, products liability cases, Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, and various other business litigation matters.  Threadgill is actively involved in the Chambliss Startup Group, which has allowed him the opportunity to work with a number of startups and entrepreneurs through the Company Lab (CO.LAB) on myriad business matters ranging from entity choice and incorporation, intellectual property and technology rights, and risk management strategies.  Threadgill also serves on the Board of Directors for the TBA's Young Lawyers Division, as district representative for Hamilton County.  Threadgill previously played a fundamental role for the TBA YLD's Publications Committee in which he was the editor of the Tennessee Young Lawyer—a statewide e-newsletter.  


Vice President / President Elect John Jolley
of Legal Aid of East Tennessee

John Jolley is an attorney with Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Since 2016, He has served as an on-site partner at the Chattanooga Family Justice Center representing victims of domestic violence in orders of protection, divorces, custody matters, and other civil legal issues. Jolley graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2014. He is also a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga ('20) and serves as a liaison to the ABA Select Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense. 

Legal Aid Liaison John Jolley of LAET

Secretary/Vice President-Elect Mary Frances DeVoe
of Legal Aid of East Tennessee


Treasurer Brian Bush
of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

Brian Bush is a native Chattanoogan, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and Maryville College. He currently practices at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Brian Bush has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office. He’s also a commissioned officer, serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Bush is dedicated to serving his community through his work, and he and his wife, Mauriel, enjoy calling Chattanooga home.


Immediate Past President Melody Shekari
of Melody Shekari Law

Attorney Melody Shekari is a lawyer, community advocate, and proud daughter of immigrants. Raised in Chattanooga, Shekari earned her B.S. in Economics from Bentley Univ., a Master in Public Administration from the Univ. of Washington, and a J.D. from the Univ. of Southern California. She has traveled to over 45 countries and received fellowships to work in local government and study international genocide and legal institutions. After law school, Shekari returned home to Chattanooga, completed a fellowship in the Mayor's office, and ran for political office. She is active in a number of local and volunteer initiatives and organizations including serving on the statewide board of ACLU-TN and volunteer scuba diving at the Tennessee Aquarium. Shekari’s current work and volunteer priorities include criminal justice reform, access to healthcare, job creation and workforce development, and immigrant rights. The majority of her legal practice is in criminal defense and civil contract matters, and she is licensed to practice law in TN and CA.


Council Member Tim Ballard
of Evans Harrison & Hackett

Tim Ballard practices civil litigation with Evans Harrison and Hackett. His practice focuses on domestic relations and personal injury.  His domestic relations practice includes not only divorce and child custody cases, but also cases involving grandparent visitation, termination of parental rights, Juvenile Court practice, and service as a Guardian ad Litem in Circuit and Chancery Courts. He earned his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law & bachelor’s degree from UT.




Council Member Alexis Crutchfield  

Alexis Crutchfield concentrates her practice in the Litigation. Alexis returned to her native town of Chattanooga in the inaugural class of the Chattanooga Legal Diversity Consortium, where she gained practical legal experience while working in the legal services department at EPB and as a judicial intern at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Alexis earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and obtained her law degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. While in law school, Alexis served as a student attorney working in the Howard Child Welfare Clinic, where she represented clients in D.C. Superior Court, primarily throughout CPS investigations and custody matters.


Council Member Tim Henshaw
of Alexander Shunnarah

Attorney Tim Henshaw of Ali Awad Law, P.C.. was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He studied at UT–Chattanooga where he graduated with honors in 2012.  Henshaw attended Georgia State University College of Law while working for McMahan Law Firm and graduated with honors in 2017.  During law school, Henshaw received awards for excellence in constitutional law, brief writing, oral appellate arguments and complex litigation, scholarships from the Chattanooga Bar Association and the Student Trial Lawyers’ Association, and worked as an Associate Research Editor for the Georgia State Law Review.  He currently practices in civil litigation, including industrial accidents, Workers' Compensation claims and motor vehicle accidents. Tim is a member of the Chattanooga Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association and Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association.  Henshaw attends church at the Venue Church in North Georgia and volunteers in the kids department.  He loves spending time with his wife, a special needs teacher, and his whole pack of dogs.

Council Member Tim Henshaw of McMahan Law Firm

Council Member Matthew Wayne
of Carlock Stair

Matt Wayne is a litigation associate at Copeland, Stair, Kingma & Lovell where his practice experience includes general liability, construction, employment, and trucking and transportation.  Wayne defends clients in an array of issues, ranging from general liability claims to complex, multi-party construction disputes, and commercial transportation matters. He also has significant experience in advising and representing clients in day-to-day labor and employment issues that develop in an array of  large and small businesses and industries. Wayne is a Chattanooga native, receiving his J.D. from The University of Tennessee College of Law after graduating from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  He is also deeply involved in the community, serving on a number of nonprofit boards that support the local community. 

Council Member Matthew Wayne of Carlock Stair

Council Member Raven Austin
of TN Courts

Raven Austin graduated with a B.A. in History from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from Lincoln Memorial University. In law school, Austin was involved with Mock Trial and the Black Law Student’s Association boards. She was previously with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office. She is an active volunteer in Mock Trial competitions across the country, including the CBA YLD Hamilton County high school mock trial competition.

District Attorney’s Office Liaison Raven Austin of HCDAG

Council Member Tim Crosby
of Milberg Law

Tim Crosby grew up in Southern Illinois and after some travel made his way to Chattanooga in 2017.  Crosby currently practices law at Milberg Law.  His practice encompasses mass tort and class action litigation and a variety of other civil matters.  Outside of the office Crosby enjoys being outside and exploring the Chattanooga area with friends.


Council Member Laura Higbee 
of Husch Blackwell

Laura leaves no stone unturned in her representation of clients involved in commercial litigation and class action disputes. As part of larger litigation teams, she helps clients and colleagues to synthesize complex data sets and to situate facts within applicable laws and regulations. Laura’s clients also benefit from her experience with administrative law and procedure. She served as an intern with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of General Counsel, as well as serving as a clerk with both the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings and the D.C. Commission on Human Rights. While at the EEOC, Laura assessed amicus potential for recently appealed Title VII and Equal Pay Act (EPA) cases and researched multiple legal issues, including the tender back doctrine, gender identity as a form of sex discrimination, and previous salary as a factor other than sex under the EPA.


Council Member Aaron Wells
of Robinson, Smith & Wells

Aaron Wells is an associate at Robinson, Smith & Wells and concentrates his practice on general civil litigation, including municipal, health care liability, and other personal injury defense. Aaron received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his law degree from Samford University - Cumberland School of Law. Wells has been licensed in Tennessee since 2017. In his free time, Wells enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife Charlotte, and their two sons, Bennett (4) and Elliott (2).

Council Member Aaron Wells of Robinson, Smith & Wells

TBA YLD Liaison Justin Faith
of Gearhiser Peters

Justin B. Faith, a member at Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon, PLLC, has a proven track record handling all types of cases with a focus on civil business litigation and estate related litigation matters.  Over the years, he has taken on numerous leadership roles and received various recognitions in the CBA, TBA, and ABA Association Young Lawyer Divisions, including serving on the Executive Committee for the Tennessee Bar Association YLD as the group’s Treasurer for the past several years.  Faith is a Super Lawyers® Rising Star in Business Litigation (2020), a proud graduate of the TBA’s Leadership Law (TBALL) program, and has been involved with the Chattanooga Bar Association YLD dating back to 2011.  Prior to starting private practice, Faith served as the Judicial Law Clerk for the Hamilton County Chancery Court.  Faith is a graduate from the University of Tennessee College of Law, magna cum laude with High Honors, and from the University of Louisville, magna cum laude, with Highest University Honors.  He is an avid traveler, sports junkie, and Kentucky bourbon aficionado. 

TBA YLD Liaison Justin Faith of Gearhiser Peters

SETLAW Liaison Lauren Kaywood
of Pinnacle Bank 

Lauren Sherrell Kaywood serves as a trust advisor for the trust team at Pinnacle Bank’s offices in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaywood enjoys helping individuals and families manage their assets and pass wealth to children as efficiently as possible. A former estate planning attorney, Kaywood enjoys assisting clients in a variety of estate planning and end of life matters. In addition to being a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Kaywood holds a M.B.A. and a Bachelor of Music from UT-Chattanooga.  She is past president of the Southeast Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (SETLAW), and is a member of the TBA & CBA.

Civil Bar Liaison Lauren Kaywood of Pinnacle Bank

Criminal Defense Bar Liaison Matt Brock
of Best Brock 

Attorney Matt Brock is a criminal defense attorney whose practice is focused on impaired driving crimes.  He also handles cases ranging from Class C misdemeanors to Frist Degree murders and is most conformable litigating in the courtroom.  Brock is extremely passionate about representing the accused and believes in absolute zealous advocacy.  He is a certified instructor in DUI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  This is the same course that police officers take in order to make DUI arrests.  Brock is a board member for the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and is also a member of the National Association of Criminal defense Lawyers and the Chattanooga Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 

Criminal Defense Bar Liaison Matt Brock of Best Brock

Criminal Defense Bar Liaison Anna Marona

Anna Marona is a transplant to Chattanooga from Pensacola, Florida. She is a graduate of Belmont University College of Law & Lee University. Marona is currently an Asst. Public Defender with the 11th Judicial Public Defender’s Office, where she has practiced since being admitted to the TN bar in 2019. Outside of criminal defense, she loves cooking Italian food & enjoying the Chattanooga outdoors. 

Public Defender’s Office Liaison Anna Marona of HCDPD

Criminal Defense Bar Liaison Janie Varnell 

of Davis & Hoss 

Janie Parks Varnell is an attorney at Davis & Hoss, P.C. practicing in State and Federal Courts in Tennessee and Georgia. Janie’s primary practice area is criminal defense, but practices in both employment law and domestic relations. Varnell also represents police officers through the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. A native Chattanoogan, Varnell achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Auburn University in 2008 and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2012.  She is passionate about helping others navigate the criminal justice system and volunteers her time as a defense counsel representative in the Hamilton County Drug Recovery Court. Varnell and her husband, Adam, live in Hixson with their two dogs, Toby and Scout.  

TACDL Liaison Janie Varnell of Davis & Hoss